The study of art history involves historical analysis and the interpretation of culture, providing a broad background in the humanities. This program is designed to prepare students for graduate work in art history, the humanities, or related fields.
The major provides a strong liberal arts background and stresses the development of critical visual thinking, close reading, academic writing, and research skills.
Students interested in this major need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For additional details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college.
Art history majors choose from two specialized tracks:
The Iowa Idea Track continues our century-long tradition of combining the study of art history with hands-on creation of art in studio art courses. The Iowa Idea of bringing artists and scholars together in an academic context became the model for numerous art and art history programs across the nation, training artists and art historians within a united studio and liberal arts environment.
The new Global and Interdisciplinary Connections Track encourages students to earn a double major in art history and another humanistic discipline, allowing majors to tailor their studies and explore their interests across academic departments.
Students learn techniques of formal analysis and methods for interpreting the meaning of paintings, sculpture, and architecture. They explore the relationships between art objects and society and examine the patterns of patronage. Course work includes:
- Two courses in Western art and culture
- A course in African or Asian art
- Undergraduate art history seminar
- Eight additional art history courses
- Writing About the Visual Arts
- Basic Drawing
- One course in a studio art program: ceramics, drawing, jewelry and metal arts, painting, printmaking, sculpture, design fundamentals
All students who wish to earn a bachelor's degree in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences must complete the GE CLAS Core requirements.
See Art and Art History in the UI General Catalog to learn more about this degree and graduating with honors.